Brooks B. Gump

Ph.D., MPH
Falk Family Endowed Professor

Brooks B. Gump, Ph.D., MPH, named the Falk Family Endowed Professor of Public Health in the Falk College at Syracuse University, joined the Falk College faculty in 2010 and is currently a professor in the Department of Public Health. Recognized internationally for his research on cardiovascular disease risk in children and adults, Gump’s work has been supported by numerous NIH grants, including R01s, an R21, and an American Recovery and Reinvestment Award Supplement. With an array of research and publications, his most recent work considers the effects of socioeconomic disadvantage, race, and environmental toxicants (e.g., lead and mercury) on children and adolescents’ health. Most recently, Gump was awarded an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, “Environmental Toxicants, Race and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children.” The study investigates the relationship between race, socioeconomic status, blood lead levels, cardiovascular responses to acute stress and cardiovascular disease risk. To better pinpoint the early antecedents of racial disparities, the study is focused on a sample of 300 African American and European American children ages 9 to 11 in the city of Syracuse, NY area over five years. This cohort continues to be studied, with new grants supporting the analysis of novel toxicant exposures using stored samples. In addition to his ongoing NIH-supported research with children, Gump was the founding PI and Director of the National Science Foundation Research Education for Undergraduate (REU) program entitled “Training Veterans to Conduct Trauma Research with Fellow Veterans.” This grant was successfully renewed 4 times and has just entered its 10th year of operation under new leadership. He serves on the editorial board of three prominent journals in his field, International Journal of Environmental Public Health, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Health Psychology, and served a four-year term as a member of the National Institute of Child Health and Development’s (NICHD’s) Health, Behavior, and Context Subcommittee. Gump earned a master’s degree in general psychology from Radford University, a Ph.D. at the University of California, San Diego, and MPH degree in epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a BA in philosophy from Swarthmore College. His teaching areas include introduction to epidemiology, environmental health, health psychology, research methods/experimental psychology, health promotion, introductory and advanced statistics, behavioral medicine, and health systems.


Ph.D. University of California, San Diego

MPH Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh

M.S. General Psychology, Radford University

B.A. Philosophy, Swarthmore College


Cardiovascular disease risk in children, environmental toxicants, health disparities, stress and health.

Research Focus

  • Evaluating psychological and physiological functioning in children and young adults with varying exposures to environmental toxicants (e.g., lead).
  • Analysis of the potential costly effects of not taking time off from work as well as the beneficial effects that can result from vacationing. This research may help inform perceptions of paid time off and identify the benefits of vacations both for businesses by increasing productivity and individuals/families by increasing quality of life.

Recent Publications

  • Hill, D. T., Petroni, M., Larsen, D. A., Bendinskas, K., Heffernan, K., Atallah-Yunes, N., ... & Gump, B. B. (2021). Linking metal (Pb, Hg, Cd) industrial air pollution risk to blood metal levels and cardiovascular functioning and structure among children in Syracuse, NY. Environmental Research, 193, 110557.
  • Heffernan, K. S., Michos, E. D., & Gump, B. B. (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Cardiac Injury. JAMA cardiology, 5(10), 1198-1198.
  • Castro, I. E., Hruska, B., & Gump, B. B. (2020). Race Differences in the Effect of Subjective Social Status on Hostility and Depressive Symptoms Among 9-to 11-Year-Old Children. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 7(5), 844-853.
  • Gump, B. B., Hruska, B., Pressman, S. D., Park, A., & Bendinskas, K. G. (2020). Vacation’s lingering benefits, but only for those with low stress jobs. Psychology & Health, 1-18.
  • Hruska, B., Pressman, S. D., Bendinskas, K., & Gump, B. B. (2020). Do vacations alter the connection between stress and cardiovascular activity? The effects of a planned vacation on the relationship between weekly stress and ambulatory heart rate. Psychology & health, 35(8), 984-999.
  • Dykas, M. J., Goplen, J., Ewart, C. K., & Gump, B. B. (2020). Early Adolescents’ Risk Taking Propensity, Urban Stress, and Affiliation With Risky Peers. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 0272431620939192.
  • Lin, H. P., Lynk, N., Moore, L. L., Cabral, H. J., Heffernan, K. S., Dumas, A. K., ... & Spartano, N. L. (2020). A pragmatic approach to the comparison of wrist-based cutpoints of physical activity intensity for the MotionWatch8 accelerometer in children. PloS one, 15(6), e0234725.
  • Gump, B. B., Hruska, B., Parsons, P. J., Palmer, C. D., MacKenzie, J. A., Bendinskas, K., & Brann, L. (2020). Dietary contributions to increased background lead, mercury, and cadmium in 9–11 year old children: Accounting for racial differences. Environmental research, 185, 109308.
  • Heffernan, K. S., Lefferts, W. K., Atallah-Yunes, N. H., Glasgow, A. C., & Gump, B. (2020). Racial differences in left ventricular mass and wave reflection intensity in children. Frontiers in pediatrics, 8, 132.
  • Krishna, H., Gerber, B. S., Heffernan, K. S., Gump, B. B., & Lefferts, W. K. (2020). Greater physical activity is associated with lower pulsatile load but not aortic stiffness in children. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 75(11_Supplement_1), 2062-2062.
  • Hruska, B., Pressman, S. D., Bendinskas, K., & Gump, B. B. (2020). Vacation frequency is associated with metabolic syndrome and symptoms. Psychology & health, 35(1), 1-15.
  • Castro, I. E., Larsen, D. A., Hruska, B., Parsons, P. J., Palmer, C. D., & Gump, B. B. (2019). Variability in the spatial density of vacant properties contributes to background lead (Pb) exposure in children. Environmental research, 170, 463-471.
  • Hruska, B., Pressman, S. D., Bendinskas, K., & Gump, B. B. (2019). Do vacations alter the connection between stress and cardiovascular activity? An examination of the effects of a planned vacation on the relationship between weekly stress and ambulatory heart rate. Psychology and Health.
  • Bergen-Cico, D., Smith, Y., Wolford, K., Gooley, C., Hannon, K., Woodruff, R., ... & Gump, B. (2018). Dog ownership and training reduces post-traumatic stress symptoms and increases self-compassion among veterans: results of a longitudinal control Study. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 24(12), 1166-1175.